Tuesday, August 16th, 2016


The Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee (UPDJC) has approved a principle of all-inclusion at the Union Peace Conference, slated for later this month, during a two-day meeting in Naypyidaw.

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No decisions will be made at the 21st Century Panglong conference, negotiators said on Monday, after they conceded that there was not enough time to make the necessary changes to the political dialogue framework.

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For as long as Daw Aye Tun can remember, her family has owned the 40-hectare (100-acre) tea plantation that hugs the side of a mountain near Loi Koan village, about 35 kilometres (22 miles) from Kyaukme in northern Shan State. The plantation has supported the family during decades of intermittent fighting. Recently, the area has seen an upsurge in conflict; since late last year, clashes have broken out between the ethnic Palaung Ta’ang National Liberation Army, the Shan State Army-North, the Shan State Army-South and the Tatmadaw.

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Mon nationalists will gather ahead of the 21st-century Panglong Conference late this month in a bid to shore up ethnic solidarity among civil society organisations, the armed group and the political parties that champion the minority’s interests.

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The Democratic Karen Buddhist Army is still waiting for State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to reply to its formal request to join the Union Peace Conference (also called 21st Century Panglong Conference).

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Floods caused by monsoon rains have killed at least eight people and disrupted the lives of 400,000 across Burma, the government said, a year since the worst floods in decades left thousands homeless and inundated vast tracts of farmland.

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Without peace there will not be any economic development, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said yesterday as chair of the Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee (UPDJC), while a senior member of her government revealed its plan to hold high-level peace conferences every six months.

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In a vote in the Lower House of Parliament on Monday, MPs opted out of discussing a Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) member’s proposal related to a review of US sanctions.

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The Tatmadaw is responsible for taking action in a case involving more than 300 tonnes of illegally harvested timber in Pyin Oo Lwin township, Mandalay Region, which was discovered last month in a protected forest area cordoned off for military research.

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Fighting has been ongoing for nearly a week between members of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and the Burma Army, leading to school closures and civilians fleeing their villages along the highway connecting Kachin State’s Tanai and Hpakant townships.

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Residents from Shahtuzup village in Kachin State’s Hukawng Valley believe that two men that have been missing since Friday are being detained by the Myanmar Army. Since the beginning of the month, the area has been a scene of heavy fighting with the Kachin Independence Army (KIA).

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Myanmar Citizens Bank (MCB), in which the Ministry of Commerce holds a minority stake, is scheduled to begin trading on the Yangon Stock Exchange (YSX) on Aug. 26, after approval was issued on Aug. 12, Thet Tun Oo, senior executive officer of the YSX, told the Irrawaddy.

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When the news finally made its way to her home in Tanintharyi Region, Daw Phyu Khine knew she had to go to Yangon. Having no better plan, she went out to Yangon Airport and waited in the arrivals hall on August 8, hope and anxiety vying in her face.

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For State Councillor and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi, the upcoming visit to China (17-19 August) will be the most significant foreign trip ever for her country since the National league of Democracy took power last November. For the first time in sixty years since the U Nu government, Myanmar is now engaging with China as a democratic country.

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Myanmar’s State Counselor and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi is scheduled to make a four-day visit to China from Aug. 17. Because of her de facto leadership status, Suu Kyi is likely to be received as a head of state and meet President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang.

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